TheÂ Department of Agriculture has allottedÂ $276 million in investment funds for the construction of aÂ rural electric infrastructure.
The investment will addÂ 1,000 miles of new line and updateÂ 733 miles of existing line, in aims to support electricity needs of businesses and residents within rural areas, USDA said Tuesday.
The department seeks to allotÂ $65 million to procureÂ smart grid technologies includingÂ metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications and geospatial information systems to lessen outages and install new assets atÂ rural electric utilities.
An amount ofÂ $74 million is being loaned to Jackson County Rural Electric Membership for smart grid technologies, as well as the construction ofÂ 84 miles of line and upgrade of 32 miles for distributing electricity across 20,000 residencies and businesses.
Kentucky-based Shelby Energy Cooperative has secured aÂ $22.3 million loan award forÂ 60 miles of new line and updating ofÂ 52 miles, as well as smart grid efforts, in support of consumers from 10 counties within Louisville and Lexington.
North Dakota-based Slope Electric Cooperative will be awarded aÂ $12.5 million loan for new 84 miles of new line and updating of 32 miles, as well as restoration efforts to address storm-cause damages dealt in July 2017.
Rappahannock Electric Cooperative of Virginia will produceÂ 376 miles of new line under a loan ofÂ $52 million.
Bedford Solar last year receivedÂ $3 million loan for the construction of a three-megawatt solar plant to power a Virginia-based rural town.
Altogether, USDA loans under the investment effort were awarded to electricity firms in the states ofÂ Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Virginia.